Did you discover a new chemical element? Or, do you have a revelation worth sharing? No? Okay. Though when you do, you’ll have to put it in a research paper.
Writing a research paper is ubiquitous to academic work. But have you ever wondered why your papers are always, um, uninspired?
“Hey, I choose interesting topics and do thorough research before writing,” you’d say.
Remember, a good research paper does more than flaunt your study’s findings. It provides precise arguments, contains excellent word-choice, and is easy to skim.
Yet, getting it right isn’t as hard as it sounds. Let’s see how:
Choosing the topic
Tip 1: Start with a broad topic. Don’t choose one that has a small number of related studies. See, a favorite topic will force you to deal with divergent opinions. It will draw out your critical thinking skills.
You’ll then find yourself coming up with new ideas, in no time.
Tip 2: Read everything that’s relevant to your topic. All the text you can find: from magazine articles, textbooks, to scientific studies.
You’re building up your knowledge on the subject area. So, the more background info you get, the more assertive your arguments will become.
Tip 3: Review and then refine your chosen topic. One way to do this is by checking whether you have a rough solution to the problem.
Ask yourself whether you can get a simple one, though. You’re still in the initial phases of the research paper. Thus, there’s no need to start complicating things this early.
Tip 4: Revise your topic. If you’ve read enough material, you can tell if someone already has a solution like yours. If yes, change the topic-question.
But there’s no need to do so if you can use your research to expand on that existing solution. After all, that’s what academic work is about.
Writing a research paper
Tip 5: Know how to write well. Okay, I know that sounds like a no-brainer. But you’ll fail if you don’t know how to write in the first place.
It’s not all lost, though. For one, you can start by writing more. Two to three hours per day will do. Or aim for longer if you want to become a good writer, faster. Also, it helps if you can refer to a research paper example for inspiration.
Tip 6: Don’t skimp on the abstract/executive summary. We live in a world that’s full of previews, trailers, and synopses—remember? So go ahead and tell us what’s in your paper and why it’s a good read.
Got a problem making this part interesting? You could always ask for research paper help on how to get it right.
Tip 7: Do extensive research. Yes, I know, I know … it’s another no-brainer, like Tip 5. See, your professor will turn to the bibliography to get a sense of the effort you invested in the paper.
If she sees a large number of references, she’ll be itching to know what arguments you have to offer.
Tip 8: Use the right writing tools. Choose software that can make the writing process easier. Most students pass up on good tools like Scrivener for Microsoft Word, though.
Yet as any seasoned writer would tell you:
It’s best to have your tools with you. If you don’t, you’re apt to find something you didn’t expect and get discouraged.
Tip 9: Divide your paper into meaningful sections. You’ve done the research and had a lot to write about, no doubt. Still, there are two things you should be on the lookout for:
- Word-count requirements: Don’t exceed or go below the limit. Give or take 10 percent, unless your research paper guidelines say otherwise.
- Sections: If your professor wants an Introduction, Discussion, —by all means, include them.
When the headers are not set, though, use relevant descriptions. For example:
Weak section heading: 1.2.1 Proof
Instead, use: 1.2.1 Proof of Concept’s X Validity
Tip 10: Know how to use acronyms. You’ll have to use them at some point in your writing. But don’t let them affect your paper’s readability.
As a rule of thumb, spell them out on when you first use them.
Let’s say you’re talking about the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). The IEEE publishes studies that expose trends in Computing.
Note how I treated the IEEE acronym.
Remember; don’t use abbreviations in the abstract and in section headings.
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Using theories and data
Tip 11: Use experimental data. See, that’s what research’s about. Going into the field and asking questions (or doing experiments). It’s using findings to make new theories.
You’ll use your experimental results to test existing arguments. There’s even research paper help to show you how to use SPSS if that’s what holding you back.
So it’s no use trying to rush the data collection and analyses.
Tip 12: Don’t be afraid to introduce new ideas. That’s because after choosing a topic, you should wow us with new insights. Tell us why Device X is more efficient than we thought. How the moon can support life … and so on.
Research is big business. People buy research papers all the time because they want to know the innovation trends.
Thus, as long you provide the evidence and convince us, we’ll adopt your research.
Tip 13: Give the conclusion the attention it needs. It’ll tell other researchers how they should use your work for further study. It’ll also remind the reader what you discovered. Yet, out of fatigue, some students ignore this part.
As a reader, I have the habit of starting texts with the conclusion. If your finishing is weak, I’ll assume that’s how the rest of the paper looks like. I guess that that’s how your professor will assess your research paper too.
Stuff like the use of good graphics is also important.
When you look at a custom research paper, for example, you’ll see that there are no bitmap images. Also, if you buy research papers, the authors make use of shapes that come with the word processor.
Get a good custom research paper and study its writing style. Learn how it uses captions and equations. Then apply these tips and be ready to become a prolific writer.